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Launch: The Woman in the Blue Cloak by Deon Meyer (15 November)

The Woman in the Blue Cloak is a brilliant novella which will thrill and entertain fans of Deon Meyer’s much-loved detective Benny Griessel.

Benny Griessel is a cop on a mission: he plans to ask Alexa Bernard to marry him. That means he needs to buy an engagement ring – and that means he needs a loan.

So Benny has a lot on his mind when he is called to a top-priority murder case. A woman’s body is discovered, naked and washed in bleach, draped on a wall beside a picturesque road above Cape Town. The identity of the victim is a mystery, as is the reason for her killing.

Gradually, Benny and his colleague Vaughn Cupido begin to work out the roots of the story, which reach as far away as England and Holland… and as far back as the seventeenth century.

Event Details

Bekendstelling: Die Ongelooflike Onskuld van Dirkie Verwey deur Charl-Pierre Naudé (13 November)

Op ’n dag in die vroeë sewentigs bemerk ’n afgeleë Noord-Kaapse gemeenskap ’n gebou in hul midde waar voorheen net ’n stuk braakgrond was. Drie weke later verdwyn die gebou . . .

Lees ook oor die vreemde werklikheid van mense wat meer as een maal lewe, oor die jong man wat so skaam is dat hy nie op foto’s kan vertoon nie, en oor die intense liefdesverhouding van ’n paartjie wie se lewenspaaie net vir ’n paar sekondes gekruis het.


Cape Town launch: I Beg to Differ by Peter Storey (14 November)

‘Let me say to Mr Botha: apartheid is doomed! It has been condemned in the Councils of God, rejected by every nation on the planet and is no longer believed in by the people who gave it birth. Apartheid is the god that has failed … let not one more sacred life be offered on its blood-stained altar…’

This is what Bishop Peter Storey preached in 1986. Challenging apartheid wherever he could, he led the Methodist Church of Southern Africa into what many white congregants saw as uncomfortable ‘political’ territory.

Join him in his inspiring journey from sailor-turned-minister to the South African Council of Churches leadership in its darkest hour, from tending to Robert Sobukwe and Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, through the forced removals of District Six and to the storm surrounding Stompie Seipei’s murder. I Beg to Differ spans a humble parish minister’s sorrows and joys, his founding of Life Line SA, the bombing of Khotso House, a close shave with death with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In his own words, Storey shares his convictions that inspired him to speak out and minister fearlessly amid the teargas, violence and intimidation of the apartheid regime.

Event Details

Launch: The Echo of a Noise by Pieter-Dirk Uys (13 November)

‘This is Pieter-Dirk Uys unpowdered. No props, no false eyelashes, no high heels …’

South African icon Pieter-Dirk Uys has been on stage over 7 000 times. In this funny and tender memoir, Uys reveals the person behind the persona. We meet his forbidding, musically driven Afrikaner father, his brilliant but troubled mother, and Sannie Abader, his Cape Flats ma who raised him in Pinelands, Cape Town.

Filled with photographs from the family album and 40 years of satire, The Echo of a Noise also features Pieter’s Paarlse ouma, his strudel-baking German Oma, his devotion to Sophia Loren, the invention of Evita Bezuidenhout, and the joys and sorrows of a remarkable life.

Event Details

Launch: Everyone is Present by Terry Kurgan (14 November)

In this book, Kurgan begins with a family snapshot made by her Polish grandfather in 1939 on the eve of the war. Presenting this evocative image as a repository of multiple histories – public, private, domestic, familial and generational – she sets off on a series of meditations on photography that give us startling insights into how photographs work: what they conceal, how they mislead, what provocations they contain.

Terry will be in discussion with Professor Gerrit Olivier (Wits School of Arts).

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 14 November 2018
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Gerrit Olivier
  • RSVP:

    Book Details

Shady nuclear deals with Russians, sinister ISIS operatives, the CIA and SA's devious spies - Margaret von Klemperer reviews Mike Nicol's plausible and fast-moving Sleeper

Published in the Witness: 5 November 2018

Sleeper, Mike Nicol

Mike Nicol’s fictional world can be brutal, disturbing and, at times, downright scary because it is all too plausible with the wild mix of corruption, mayhem and good and bad people that make up South Africa, both in reality and in fiction.

But because many of his characters are familiar from other outings, there is, paradoxically, something comforting about it.

Fish Pescado and Vicki Kahn might have their flaws, but the reader will root for them – they are an appealing duo, and we like them.

The plot here is complicated, but Nicol is a skilled operator, and manages to twist and re-weave all the strands into a credible whole.

When Sleeper opens, the Minister of Energy has been murdered, and Fish is hired by the murdered man’s lover, Caitlyn Suarez, an international businesswoman, to find out who is the culprit because the cops are determined to pin it on to her. She has also got a minder, Krista Bishop – whose roots run deep in Nicol’s fiction. Then the policeman investigating the minister’s murder, and who is also Fish’s neighbour, commits suicide. More trouble for Fish.

Meanwhile, Vicki, who is having a problem with her gambling addiction, is called in by her former boss at the South African spy agency to track down a pair of Iranians who are trying to steal highly enriched uranium, still held by South Africa at a remote location in the Northern Cape.

And just how are the director of the Department of Energy – now without a minister – and a top nuclear scientist involved in all this?

Nicol creates a world of shady nuclear deals with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and threats of dirty bombs. In it sinister ISIS operatives, the CIA, South Africa’s own devious spies, crooked politicians and a sleeper deeply embedded in local society all ply their increasingly dirty trades.

It makes for a plausible, fast-moving novel – and leaves you wondering how much of this sort of thing is actually going on under our noses. Just one example: has South Africa really got rid of all the nuclear material that was stockpiled in the bad old days?

And if not, where is it and who has their hands on it?

Book details